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NBC’s ‘Beach’ sunny, ‘World’ waits

Peacock renews daytime sudser

NEW YORK — The over-the-top antics of the buff bods and bikini-clad beauties on NBC’s “Sunset Beach” will continue for another year.

NBC has given a one-year renewal to the fledgling Spelling-produced daytime sudser, sources said late Monday. The Pea-cock is expected to make an official announcement today.

Despite “Sunset’s” status as daytime’s least-watched serial, Peacock execs say they’ve been happy with the show’s story development and its strong following among teen girls. In most weeks, “Sunset” finishes No. 2 or No. 3 in that young femme demo. “Sunset” bowed in January 1997.

Still uncertain is the fate of NBC’s veteran soap “Another World.” The Peacock’s contract with the Procter & Gamble-produced sudser is up in June, and soap-biz watchers say that with the pickup given to “Sunset,” the odds against “Another World” getting a longterm commitment from the web have grown longer.

Nevertheless, Procter & Gamble is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to solidify the show’s future. Last week, P&G Prods. confirmed plans to replace producer Charlotte Savitz with Christopher Goutman, a former thesp and frequent episodic helmer on P&G’s CBS soap “As the World Turns” (Daily Variety , Oct. 19).

Indeed, NBC insiders say no decision on “Another World’s” fate has been made. Web execs want to give the show and its new producer a chance to turn the ratings around. “Another World” has been a staple of the Peacock’s daytime lineup since May 1964, but it’s been in a ratings slump in recent years.

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